The founder of FarmKonnect Ltd, a foremost multi-dimensional agric firm in Nigeria, Mr. Oluwole Azeez, has warned that 2021 might pose a serious threat to food production in Nigeria as a result of COVID-19 which has adversely affected farmers.
He, however, proffered that the only way to tackle the looming food crisis was for the government at various levels to intervene.
The agri-business expert, made the submission, at the weekend, during the round table dinner of FarmKonnect Ltd, held in Ibadan to celebrate the achievement of the company in boasting the agricultural sector.
He added that he forsaw hunger befalling the nation due to the fact that many farmers were unable to farm during the COVID-19, but with intervention of the government, it was possible to overcome the challenge.
Azeez, whose career in agriculture, spanned 20 years, noted that lots of farmers are locked up in the house because of the Coronavirus, except the ones who are in villages that could move around.
His words: “COVID-19 hit the agri-usiness seriously and I know alot of farmers that were deeply affected but thanks to the government of Osun and Oyo State for helping us during the pendemic. If not for the government, FarmKonnect would have been affected as well as crops were wasted.”
“I forsaw hunger ahead of 2021, I hope for change. The food we eat would be greatly affected because many farmers didn’t farm due to COVID- 19 and there was problem with the weatg so it may be rough ride unless the government intervenes as food price may increase.”
He expressed appreciation to the Oyo State government, for not closing the state down on farmers to move their goods in and out of the state.
He described the gesture as laudable to many farmers despite the rough experience they had which led to soberness of many farmers, adding thst the gesture of the state government was a reason to smile.
In the same vein, the state government in collaboration with the state’s House of Assembly, has promised to ensure that agricultural business in the state becomes an example of for other states to follow as they are keen to make the state a food basket of the country.
Majority Leader of the Assembly, Mr. Sanjo Adedoyin, who also participated at the event, said the current administration’s involvement in agriculture was the main reason why FarmKonnect has a successful story to tell and appreciated the company’s approach in encouraging youths to participate in agriculture.
“We must admit that FarmKonnect has been a huge encouragement for youths to embrace Agriculture as an opportunity to beat poverty and the Oyo State Government under the leadership of Engr Seyi Makinde as well as the assembly under the leadership of Rt. Hon. Debo Ogundoyin is always ready to support the sector with policies that will favor our farmers to farming more conducive for them.”
“Just recently, we approved a loan of N2billion for Agribusiness extension to boast the Agricultural sector in the state and this is what we have been doing to support our farmers in Oyo State as we have Agriculture Extension Estate already for our farmers and we are keen to do more as this administration under the leadership of Engr Seyi Makinde is ready to support our farmers.”
“We must commend FarmKonnect for its efforts in showing the youths that they can do in well in life by becoming farmers and being a graduate doesn’t disqualify you to become a farmer as many believe farmers are uneducated fellows.”